Fallout: New Vegas

Obsidian Entertainment take Fallout for a spin in Sin City. Read our verdict...

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Bethesda Softworks Fallout: New Vegas
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout: New Vegas
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout: New Vegas
  • Bethesda Softworks Fallout: New Vegas
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Nice and familiar gameplay mechanics, immersive side quests, stellar voice acting, it's Fallout!

Cons

  • Character models are a bit ropy, Hardcore Mode can get tedious, story lacks the 'oomph' and urgency of Fallout 3

Bottom Line

Fallout: New Vegas is another slice of the same radioactive pie -- which is exactly what fans ordered. If you loved Fallout 3, you will not be disappointed by this familar expansion.

Would you buy this?

While I’m grateful New Vegas didn’t go overboard with the changes, there are a few things I wouldn’t mind to have seen 'fixed'.

For one, your character looks like a cardboard cut-out superimposed on a pre-made backdrop. It often appears as though your character is gliding across the ground, like a grittier version of the puppet show Sooty & Sweep. Same goes with any other sentient beings in New Vegas. The facial expressions on every character are so stiff they make Silvester Stalone's face look positively animated by comparison.

These problems have existed since The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and it's still one of the biggest gripes I have with Bethesda games (and why some of my friends laugh at me when I play them). Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in Fallout 4…

The graphical flaws would be more jarring if the game wasn't so immersive. Just like how Fallout 3 temporarily supplanted my addiction to World of Warcraft, I found myself drawn into New Vegas, skipping meals and sleep just so I can go a little further in the game (ergo, my life became Hardcore Mode).

Something about being a lone gun-slinger exploring a decimated wasteland and meeting interesting, albeit mannequin-esque, characters along the way has an ineffable appeal to it.

Fallout: New Vegas

But the storyline – the bread and butter for every RPG game – is undoubtedly less dramatic in New Vegas; especially for the first big chunk of game time. In Fallout 3, you're raised from birth as a vault dweller by your doting genius scientist dad, who happens to be voiced by Liam Neeson (*swoons*). When dad goes off on a mission to purify the radiated wasteland, it is the catalyst for your journey to locate him and ultimate leads you to initiating a world-changing event.

In New Vegas, you are just a standard courier, who gets shot in the head and loses a suspicious package. There are some allusions that you are somehow 'special' but for the most part you are just an inconspicuous fellow trying solve the mystery behind your shooting and lost package.

Ask yourself this: Finding out why some guy shot your insignificant hide, or saving Liam Neeson and then the world from destruction – which sounds more compelling?

The main storyline definitely feels less urgent compared to Fallout 3, but that's not necessarily a negative. In the previous game I was so driven to complete the main quest to find Daddy Neeson I bypassed a plethora of side missions on the first run.

In New Vegas, I found myself more inclined to help out with smaller quests dished out by the townsfolk I encountered on my travels. I spent so much time at the beginning sidetracked by smaller tasks I actually forgot what I had to do for the main mission. It’s actually kind of relaxing being able to explore at your own pace without the pressure of saving the world.

Fallout: New Vegas

I haven’t even mentioned the star-studded line-up of voice actors in New Vegas. William Sadler from Shawshank Redemption, Michael Dorn from Star Trek: Next Generation, Danny Trejo from From Dusk Till Dawn, Felicia Day from The Guild… And I thought the Fable 3 voice cast was impressive: this list reads like every geek’s wet dream.

There is so much happening in New Vegas, and despite having just written my fingers off, I’ve probably forgotten to mention a tonne of things in this review. But it’s best to discover them for yourself. Recommendation: Get the damn game!

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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